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Continuous Slow
Feeding Systems for Horses

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Horse Hay Slow Feeder Benefits

Happier Horses

We have observed some remarkable changes in our herd since perfecting the horse hay feeder. During our research and development stage we found that it took about 4-8 weeks for all the horses in our herd to become familiar with feeding from the feeders. During this “break in” period the more dominant of our herd became less likely to guard the feed from their herd mates. With set feeding times eliminated our herd became harmonized and the fighting over feed ended. Our feeder is like an abundant pasture 365 days a year because hay is always available. With the Drury Healthy Horse Feeder the speed and volume a horse eats his hay is drastically reduced, increasing the time taken to chew and digest the feed properly.

slow-horse-hay-feederWhen absolute eating harmony is established and the horse perceives that the supply of hay is endless, it stands to reason that the digestive system will work in a more natural, healthy and balanced way. This assumption has been demonstrated by the fact that our overweight and underweight horses will eat together from the same feeder and both reach and maintain much healthier weights.

Using our horse hay feeders allows horses to be always ready for work or play and increases their willingness and stamina. Your horse will never again feel that burning sensation of digestive fluids irritating his empty intestines, which people often mistaken as a disobedient, unruly, or “hot” horse. He will tolerate his herd mates better and love you even more when using the Drury Healthy Horse Feeder.

Reduced labour

For the horse owner and farm manager, Drury Healthy Horse Feeders will reduce labour costs significantly! Never again feel the stress of trying to meet feeding times or not being able to leave your horses for a day or two. In our case we have enough feeders that we only need to feed every 4 days. Our hard sided feeder will hold enough hay for one horse for approx. 6 days.

Horse hay feeder list of benefits

  • Drury Healthy Horse Feeders are the best equine investment you will ever make!
  • All our Contiuous Slow Feeders promote better overall horse health and well being. By supplying continuous slow feeding with the Healthy Horse Feeders, the horse will, in most cases, cease vices such as cribbing, weaving, aggression, feed anxiety etc… Medical related problems such as colic, sand colic, laminitis, insulin resistance, and obesity will be greatly reduced if not eliminated as many of these problems relate to Bolus Feeding practices. Studies have been carried out in Japan and Australia, which show that horses will start to crib two hours after finishing their feed ration. 

  • One of the most important benefits of the Drury Healthy Horse Feeder, for human users, is the safety factor of not having your horses stampede you at feeding time. This ends simply because they never feel hungry.
  • Reducing the amount of hay, thus sugar a horse eats results in better body weight and greatly improved hoof health. Hay contains 14-18% Nonstructural Carbohydrates (NSC) – sugar. We have experimented with the amounts of hay a horse will eat if given free choice. Over a 20 day period we gave our 7 horses free choice hay, which we carefully weighed and found that they ate up to 40 lbs per day. Data from the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky shows the amount of hay a horse actually requires, to live a healthy life and not become obese nor under weight, is between 16 and 24 lbs per day. The average weight of our horses is approximately 900 lbs. therefore the maximum amount of hay they require to maintain a healthy weight would be about 18-22 lbs per day. Based on hay having 16% NSC, horses allowed free choice non-restricted hay at 40 lbs per day would actually consume 6.4 lbs of sugar per day. This amount of sugar will lead to obesity, founder and may other insulin related problems. Using the horse hay feeders we have reduced the NSC intake by close to 50% or 3.2 lbs per day – take a moment to think about this. This means our horses are all at good working weight with no more hoof related problems and they are always ready and willing to go.
  • bob filling horse hay feederOne of the most appealing benefits of our Healthy Horse Feeders is cost savings. Using our Slow Feeders, compared to feeding with the free choice method, will reduce the intake of hay from about 40 lbs to 20 lbs, which equates to approximately 50% savings of hay per day. If you’re feeding your horse good quality hay, at an estimated cost of 6 cents per pound, using 800 lb round bales the cost is $48.00 per bale. It is difficult to say exactly how much wastage there is using these bales (fed on the ground, or in a tombstone type feeder), but from our experience there is between 20-40% of the bale that goes to waste. To calculate approximately how much of the hay that is not being used, we took the amount of hay the horse should not be eating to be 50%, combined that figure with the conservative figure of 20% wastage for an average of 70% of hay from an 800 lb bale that is not benefiting you or your horse. That leaves only 200 lbs of hay being utilized and costing you $48.00/200 lbs, or 24 cents per pound. That’s $192.00 per 800 lb bale! Think about it!
  • To date we have fed for three winters in our north central Ontario climate with our Hard Sided Feeders and have not experienced frost nor snow related problems. During wet and snowy weather conditions the hay stays dry and the horses have no issues feeding.
  • Reduction in labour at feeding times.
  • No more watering or steaming down dusty hay.
  • It is as close as possible to the way a horse feeds in nature. The horse hay feeders design allows for the horse to eat a few straws of hay at a time, with its head down, mimicking the way it does in its natural environment. This position allows nasal passages to drain and permits them to see 360 degrees, which, being prey animals is vital to their survival and brings them peace of mind while eating.
  • Happy content horses.
  • The horse hay feeders are virtually indestructible, yet, lightweight enough that two people can easily move them.
  • 2 Year warranty.
  • Horses weight will stabilize and in most cases, obese horses lose weight and underweight horses gain.
  • The hay stay off the ground therefore the risk of picking up parasites is minimized.
  • Your horses can now graze at their horse hay feeders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without any fear of overeating.
  • Continuous/slow feeding is endorsed by veterinarians throughout the world.
  • Virtually no wastage.
  • No more getting up early to feed your horse before a show; your horse will always be ready.
  • Multiple horses can comfortably graze at the horse hay feeders.
  • Pays for itself in about 1 year or less. (Depending on your cost of hay).
  • Our equine dentist commented on the great condition of our horse’s teeth.
  • With our Hard Sided Feeder you can feed 3 40-50 lb bales and store 2 bales underneath for the next feeding (see blog). 

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